I love looking at bloggers’ house tours online. I can get so much inspiration from them, and I often find it more inspiring than looking through the pages of Elle Decor. The homes of bloggers seem more real to me — real people decorating real rooms in real homes on real budgets (for the most part). I can relate to those more than I can relate to world-renowned designers designing multi-million dollar homes and then decorating them with seemingly endless budgets.
But sometimes even the blogger home tours start to make me feel insecure about myself. I came across one this last week, and the room transformations were just beautiful. But what amazed me even more is that they moved into their new home, and within the first year, everything was done. The kitchen was renovated, all of the rooms were completely furnished and decorated. Everything has a place, and everything was in its place.
And then the comparison crept into my brain. You know, we’ve owned our house for almost a year (it’ll be a year in August), and as of this morning, this is what my house looks like. There’s not one single room in my house that’s finished. The room that’s the closest to being finished right now is the living room.
But that room is far from finished. It still need the ceiling tiles removed, and will probably require new drywall on the ceiling. Then I want to add wainscoting and wallpaper. And the room also needs electrical work so that the light can actually hang in the right place rather than being swagged over like that. Plus, it still needs accessories — those things that really add personality to a room. And then the windows need help. One needs to be replaced, one needs to be repaired, and they all need to be stripped, reglazed, and repainted.
The entryway is a mess. I started painting in there, but then stopped. I started taking the trim off of the door, but then realized I shouldn’t put new trim on until the house was leveled. (It’s level now, but now I’m so focused on the kitchen that I havne’t taken the time to add trim to the door.) This area needs wainscoting, wallpaper, trim, paint, new lighting installed, and general decorating and accessorizing.
So those two areas are the most finished in the whole house, and yet, they’re only about 50% complete. After almost a year.
And then the rest of my house? Well, it just gets worse from there. The room that will eventually be the music room currently holds our dining table, which continually gets piled up with junk since we still can’t actually put things away in our kitchen until I get the cabinets painted.
My range lives there right now, and tools always seem to land here as well. The floor has been continually covered in dust (drywall dust, concrete dust, insulation dust, paint dust, sawdust) for the last three months, and trying to keep that stuff vacuumed up and mopped up is virtually impossible.
And we won’t even talk about the sunroom. You can see my fancy window treatments in the picture above. Don’t be jealous.
My kitchen has been torn apart for three months now, and this paint issue during this last week has me feeling a bit discouraged, wondering if this will ever get done.
I know it will get done. I haven’t even tried to fix it yet. My goal is to try to get everything taped and papered and covered with plastic today so that I can just spray everything this weekend.
But there’s a of it to do.
And then, of course, my breakfast room has become nothing but a dust-covered storage room/junk yard.
The only other area of my house that has even been touched is the hallway. I did take out the big closet that made the hallway feel so small, and we put up new drywall on the ceiling, but that’s as far as Ive gotten in there.
Nothing is finished. Everything is a mess. Everything is covered in at least a light dusting of drywall dust, insulation dust, and concrete dust.
So two days ago, I was feeling pretty down about myself, and my house, and my apparent lack of progress after almost an entire year. But you know what? I’m feeling better about it now.
I just started realizing that our situations are completely different. I moved into a house that needed quite a bit of structural things taken care of, whereas it looks like her house just needed cosmetic changes. I’ve done the majority of the work on my house by myself (with the exception of big things like the electrical work, installing the header in the kitchen, pouring the concrete countertops), where she has had help along the way (the help of her husband, at the very least). I decided to start over completely in this house and not bring any furnishings or accessories with me other than a handful of small things, whereas she obviously packed up all of her belongings from her previous house and could quickly and easily furnish the new rooms with things she already owned.
In thinking through all of those things, it made me realize how comparison is a thief. It steals our joy. It steals our contentment. And so often when we compare ourselves to others, if we were to scratch a little deeper just beyond the surface, we’d find that we’re actually comparing apples and oranges — two people in completely different circumstances.
I’m not really sure where I’m going with this, except that I did wonder if my blog has ever made others feel that way. I have people tell me all the time that they just don’t know how I get so much done, or how I can get more done in a day than they can in a month. But are we comparing apples and oranges? This blog is my full-time job. I don’t go to an office job eight hours a day and then come home and work on my house on nights and weekends. We don’t have kids that have to be taken to school, and music lessons, and soccer practice, and school functions. I have quite a bit more time to work on my house than most people have.
And now I’m at the end of my random thoughts (Deep Thoughts by Kristi Linauer), and don’t really know how to end this post.
I guess I just wanted to encourage you to beware of comparison. With magazines and blogs and Pinterest and so many other things out there to “inspire” us, comparison is always waiting just around the corner waiting to sneak up behind you. It’s a thief, and it’ll take every opportunity to steal from you. Very often, we have to make a conscious decision to choose contentment instead.